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Haverigg windfarm plans spark opposition

Residents have hit out over plans to build a windfarm which would result in heavy goods vehicles transporting turbine parts through their community.

Lorries would make more than 2,000 trips to the site during the construction of five wind turbines on land near HMP Haverigg, should the application from Partnerships for Renewables gain planning permission.

A total of 1,042 lorries carrying cement, gravel and other materials would travel to the site off North Lane – an unadopted road not maintained by any authority. A further 52 special large loads would travel from Port Millom.

Around 40 locals attended a public meeting in Haverigg Working Men’s Club on Tuesday night to discuss the applicant’s transportation and access proposals.

Resident Norman Thompson, of North Lane, said North Lane would be at further risk of serious damage and vibrations from heavy traffic were already damaging adjoining properties.

Mr Thompson said: “The foundations of the road aren’t suitable for heavy transport. The land is already broken with heavy transport going up and down to the prison.

“When they put in place the turbines at the airfield, they dug the road up and didn’t properly resurface it then and I’m sure this will be a similar thing.”

Councillor Felicity Wilson was among the councillors in attendance and said it was understandable “feelings ran high”.

She said it was important all residents in Millom and Haverigg are given chance to feed their views into the consultation process.

Cllr Wilson, a member of Millom Town Council and a Millom representative on Copeland Borough Council, said: “There are a number of traffic-related issues right along that Poolside road, through Main Street and up to the prison, and there’s a hell of a lot of subsidence in our little community.

“These are issues that have not been dealt with and that is why it gets a bit heated. There was high feeling, but people did behave and address the concerns and issues quite eloquently.

“I don’t think there was any doubt from the group of people in the room what their feelings are.”

Stuart Barnes, PfR communications manager, said county council highways engineer Karl Melville intended to carry out the same standard of investigative work in North Lane as he would with the roads maintained by the council, with both pre and post-construction checks. Mr Barnes said the intention was always to resurface the road before construction.

He said PfR and the highways department agreed at the meeting to explore the possibility of bringing North Lane up to full “adopted standard”.

He said, if planning permission was granted, HGVs would not be travelling to the site until Autumn 2014 at “the very earliest”.